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Originally posted 10th July 2024

What is real wood flooring?

Real wood flooring has been a staple choice for homeowners throughout the years, standing the...

Paul Hambidge

Managing Director Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

5 min read
Written by Expert

Real wood flooring has been a staple choice for homeowners throughout the years, standing the test of time despite changes in trends. Due to its incredibly durable nature, it’s not only an attractive choice but an investment that will last many years.

With its timeless appeal and durability, real wood flooring comes in a range of different styles and designs; from Rustic to Lacquered to Wide Plank. When it comes to colours, the various stains from modern light tones to classy dark shades mean there is a choice for you no matter what look you might be hoping to achieve.

What is Real Wood Flooring Made Of?

As the name aptly suggests, real wood flooring is in fact made from real wood! Each wooden plank is its own individual piece boasting characteristics such as knots, colour variation and distinctive grains for a unique look every time. There are two main variations when it comes to real wood flooring: solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring.

Solid wood flooring is created from a single piece of wood. This means that the core and the surface of the plank are made from the same material, typically from a hardwood such as Oak. While the appearance of both types is very similar, looking nearly identical on the surface, engineered wood flooring is slightly different in its construction.

Engineered wood utilises different layers sandwiched together. The top layer is made of real wood, also known as the wear layer, where footfall will contact the flooring. Below this comes a layer of either plywood or softwood that forms the core of the plank. The final layer consists of veneer to create balance for the piece.

Whether you choose solid wood or engineered wood, each plank is machined to perfection and then lacquered for a fine finish. If you are interested in the differences between Engineered Wood vs Solid Wood then please read our guide here.

What are the Main Benefits of Real Wood Flooring?

Whether old or new, real wood adds character and style to any property making it a top choice for quality flooring. We’ve compiled some of the best advantages you’ll see from investing in real wood flooring.

Durability and Resilience

Real wood floors are incredibly resistant to everyday wear and tear making them a highly durable choice for rooms with high footfall. Both solid and engineered show little signs of ageing over time and even if scratches begin to surface, the floor can be easily sanded to be restored to its original appearance.

Chic and Classic Style

There’s no denying that real wood flooring is an incredibly stylish flooring choice for all homes. Wood looks warm and attractive in any situation and our wide variety of cuts and finishes mean you can really make this look your own.

Increased Warmth in the Home

You can't mistake the feel of real wood in a home. Compared to tiled or laminate flooring, wood flooring offers a natural warmth under your feet as well as a comfortable surface to walk on. It may come as a surprise but wood is also a much better conductor of heat in contrast to carpet meaning warmth can be retained for longer during cold winter months.

Limited Sound

Wood flooring offers great benefits in creating a sense of acoustic comfort. The unique density and fibrous structure of wood means it effectively dampens sound vibrations, minimising the transfer of noise between floors and rooms.

Long Lifespan

Real wood flooring provides the kind of quality that lasts for years to come. Engineered wood flooring can last 20 to 30 years, while solid wood flooring can reach upwards of 30 to 50 years, even extending to 100 years if properly installed and maintained.

Easy to Clean

As real wood flooring has no surface fibres to trap dust or dirt, it can be easily looked after with regular sweeping and mopping. In our recent look into how clean different flooring types around the home are, Factory Direct Flooring found that real wood ranked top for the easiest flooring to clean.

Which Rooms are Best for Real Wood Flooring?

With its versatility in style and colour, real wood flooring is suited to several locations around the home. Here are our top picks for the best rooms to install your wood flooring:

Living Rooms

With real wood floors, you can elevate the look and feel of your living room, making it a bright, inviting, and stylish space for all to enjoy. With the ease of cleaning up spills, pet dander, and dust, you can spend less time worrying about messes and more time relaxing in your living room.


The airy breathable nature of real wood makes it the perfect choice for decorating a bedroom where it can quickly feel stuffy and suffocating especially during the summer. Opting for a light wood appearance can also brighten up your room and create a great base for accenting with decor of your choice.

Dining Rooms

Similar to the living room, spills and stains can be a frequent occurrence in the dining room. Having flooring that can easily rectify these little accidents is the best choice here and with various shades to choose from, you can create a memorable space to host any number of people.

Is Real Wood Flooring Expensive?

With a highly individual appearance and handmade finish, real wood flooring can often be more expensive than other floors, such as laminate and vinyl.

Aside from the cost of the flooring itself, this type of flooring takes a lot of care and attention to make sure they don't wear and tear in places susceptible to particularly high levels of foot traffic. For homeowners who wish to use solid wood flooring in their bathrooms in particular, maintenance costs of regular oiling, lacquering and cleaning can make it a high-cost venture.

But there are budget-friendly options for those who are still keen to add real wood flooring to their home. Engineered wood for example is slightly less expensive with prices beginning at £25.97 for the Abbey Nunraw Golden Oak 10mm Brushed Matt Lacquer Engineered Floor - the perfect option for flooring that is beautiful to look at but won’t break the bank compared to solid wood.

Where Can I Purchase Real Wood Flooring?

FDF carries an extensive range of real wood flooring, with a full spectrum of colours and shades, from oak, to light, to dark, to grey, and options between solid wood and engineered wood. 

Don’t worry if you’re pondering over one or the other, we have free samples available on all of our flooring types, meaning you can see what the flooring will look like in your home before you commit to buying. 

When browsing through our products, you’ll see the option to view the product or ‘add sample’. When you click on the ‘add sample’ box, your flooring sample will be added to the shopping basket which can be viewed at the top of the page, or it can be added from the product page directly.

If you need help with choosing the right real wood flooring or with making an order, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly Factory Direct Flooring team. 

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About the Author

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.